DIRTY JOE THE PIRATE

A TRUE STORY

Avast, there! A “cruel and evil” pirate who “roamed the world and seven seas in search of dirty socks” meets his match at last. Who could that be? “ ‘It’s Stinky Annie,’ someone said, ‘and her band of smelly varmints. / She captures every boat she can and takes their undergarments.’ ” A brisk battle ensues, but once they notice that their female adversaries are fighting barefoot, Dirty Joe’s men lose heart, and then briefs. Joe and Stinky Annie look like woolly redheaded twins in Davis’s uproarious nautical scenes, and no wonder, as they turn out to be long-separated sibs. Annie shows no mercy, though, and off Joe must go to his home near the Bay of Fundy—“He’s not a pirate any more, because he has no undies.” Singer/storyteller Harley (who has recorded a version of this) caps his tale with the sage observation that “If you’ve got an older sister, then I feel bad for you, / ‘Cause just as long as she’s alive, she’ll tell you what to do.” Clever rhyming, plus illustrations filled with colorfully clad pirates and soiled laundry hoist the audience appeal here to the tiptop of the mast. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-06-623780-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2008

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A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area.

RED AND LULU

A pair of cardinals is separated and then reunited when their tree home is moved to New York City to serve as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

The male cardinal, Red, and his female partner, Lulu, enjoy their home in a huge evergreen tree located in the front yard of a small house in a pleasant neighborhood. When the tree is cut down and hauled away on a truck, Lulu is still inside the tree. Red follows the truck into the city but loses sight of it and gets lost. The birds are reunited when Red finds the tree transformed with colored lights and serving as the Christmas tree in a complex of city buildings. When the tree is removed after Christmas, the birds find a new home in a nearby park. Each following Christmas, the pair visit the new tree erected in the same location. Attractive illustrations effectively handle some difficult challenges of dimension and perspective and create a glowing, magical atmosphere for the snowy Christmas trees. The original owners of the tree are a multiracial family with two children; the father is African-American and the mother is white. The family is in the background in the early pages, reappearing again skating on the rink at Rockefeller Center with their tree in the background.

A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7733-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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DINOTRUX

From the Dinotrux series

The tough working trucks in Kate and Jim McMullan’s I Stink! (2002) and sequels look like lightweights next to their brawny prehistoric antecedents in Gall’s rousing, grimy full-bleed spreads. Crushing rocks and trees, flattening smaller creatures and sending diminutive cave people fleeing in pop-eyed panic, a round dozen metal behemoths roll by, from towering Craneosaurus—“CRACK, MUNCH. / Look out birds, it’s time for lunch!”—and the grossly incontinent Blacktopodon to a stampede of heavily armored Semisaurs and the “bully of the jungle,” toothy Tyrannosaurus Trux. Why aren’t these motorized monsters with us today? They are, though in the wake of a mighty storm that left most mired in the mud to rust, the survivors went South and, as a climactic foldout reveals, evolved into the more beneficent vehicles we know and love. Dinotrux ruled their world, and now they’re likely to rule this one too. Bellow on! (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-316-02777-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2009

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